The chances of the Philadelphia 76ers using both of their picks in the 2021 NBA Draft feel rather slim.
With an $8.2 million trade exception from the Al Horford contract dump in their back pocket, the contract of George Hill a viable chip worth a little over $10 million, and the option to sign-and-trade Danny Green if reports are true that he won’t back this fall, the Sixers could surely secure a quality fifth/sixth man-esque talent if they are willing to ship out their first-round pick in a hypothetical deal.
Granted, there are surely still deals to be had if the Sixers want to hold onto their first-round pick for one reason or another – you know, like in a blockbuster trade for a superstar – but outside of securing the rights to a player like Jarrett Culver, who reportedly is available for such a disproportionate asking price versus his draft status, is that really worth it?
Considering the team’s desire to fill out their roster with playoff-worthy rotational pieces, I’d venture to say no.
No, if the Sixers are smart, they’d cash out the 28th overall pick on an immediate contributor, be that Aaron Holiday or Terrance Ross, and then use their second-rounder – pick 50, if you don’t know – on a developmental player a la Isaiah Joe or Paul Reed who is a bit of a longer-term prospect capable of soaking up some occasional regular season minutes.
If that happens, here are three viable second-round options that could be situationally valuable for the Philadelphia 76ers this fall.
Filip Petrusev is a big, 3-and-D forward.
In 2017, the Philadelphia 76ers used a first-round pick in the 20s on a long, lanky French forward with professional experience playing for KK Mega Basket in the ABA.
That player, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, turned in a few interesting seasons under the watchful eye of Brett Brown before having a second life with the Brooklyn Nets in 2020-21 as a defensive stopper coming off the bench.
Was that pick a good one? Eh, depends on your projections. One could argue TLC didn’t quite live up to his expectations and was outplayed by his draft classmate Furkan Korkmaz, who was picked two slots later, but do you know what? Sticking around in the NBA is hard and remaining a rotational piece on a playoff squad deserves respect.
Could Filip Petrusev be the Sixers’ next great KK Mega Basket success story, one who actually succeeds with the club long-term?
If he’s there at 50, he just might be.
A former member of the Gonzaga Bulldogs from 2018-20, Petrusev is a 6-10 combo big capable of filling a Mike Muscala-type role if he hits his potential.
Though his numbers were uneven with Gonzaga, especially from beyond the arc, Petrusev seemingly discovered his touch from beyond the arc as a Megaman(?), draining 41.9 percent of his shots from beyond the arc while averaging 23.6 points in 32 minutes of action a night on his way to winning AVA MVP.
In case you didn’t notice, the Sixers desperately needed a big-bodied shooter coming off the bench last season, so securing a viable reserve with said skill set, maybe even on a two-way contract, would be an ideal use of assets, especially when you consider how costly a stretch four/five can become on the open market.